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  1. If you have read my blog pages, you would already know that I am a huge footie fan, that has a job with my club, I am fortunate to work for my club and get all the benefits of being close enough to the action.
    Last weekend we unbelievably went back to wemberley for the third season running, to play in the league two play offs final v Newport county. I still cannot believe how well my club has done, just getting anywhere close to finishing the league anywhere near the playoffs. Actually being at Wembley is a bonus. Winning is the icing on the cake!
    We travelled down on the day before the final and we had booked the same hotel and being not superstitious, we ate at the same restaurant! Same breakfast, same supermarket for the stuff needed for the dressing room. We travelled the same route to Wembley.
    But fate had stepped in to upset our plans!
    As we left the supermarket, I started smelling burning and seeing a little smoke coming into the cab of our van. Also we lost the blowers, the indicators and other electrical powered systems.
    We immediately pulled over and opened the doors and windows. As the smoke cleared, I got the bonnet open and assessing the engine, oil, water and checking the important part of the engine and then we checked the fuses and found, the one from the electrical system has melted and another two was very hot causing the smoke and electrical faults. I pulled the fuses, checked everything else and found that the engine was running okay.
    I was beside myself, we should have been at the stadium by then and I was worried sick that another break down was going to take too long, and I wouldn't get to the stadium early enough, my anxiety levels went through the roof. I was using a few choice words. I was in a near panic! The most important game of the season, and this bloody van was trying to ruin the day again!
    Nor was this the first time our transport had failed us, in the past few weeks, the gear linkage cable failed going to a London club, the power steering went on a trip to south Wales, the turbo hose leaking, and a blow out on the M6, on the way back from Nottinghamshire!
    No wonder I was swearing, in the end after discussing the situation with my colleagues, we decided to chance getting to the stadium and then phoning the AA, the breakdown organisation, not the alcoholic one! Though both would have helped at that moment!
    We arrived nearly forty minutes later than we should, but the staff on duty were very helpful and agreed to help with our predicament, we got signed in and handed our accreditation. We got escorted to the changing room area near the tunnel, and off loaded. As soon as this was done, my colleague phoned the AA and myself and other colleague looked after the dressing room.
    In the dressing room everything was done and well organised for the arrival of the players. I was just so relieved when we could start enjoying the experience of the day.
    The mechanic arrived about an hour after us, and gained access to our van, thanks to the Wembley staff and he set about to at least get the van running for the return trip up north.
    All thoughts of the van took a back seat, as the players arrived and as the kick off approached because this is the important time as the players get ready and go out for warm up. Every time I have stepped out onto the Wembley turf, it is a thrill that I savour, in my wildest dreams, I never thought that I would be on the famous Wembley turf! It was warm out there, and the weather could have a bearing, if it went to extra time.
    It did, the amount of water, we used, was trotting up and I had to ask for more and find ways to keep towels cold.
    Everything possible was done to help the players cope with the heat.
    I will say now, that both teams did not want penalties, and the longer the game went on, it was becoming more than likely! They already were a man down due to a red card. But we couldn't really create anything and were getting frustrated, we didn't take advantage of the extra man, they were seeing the extra time out very well indeed! Our bench was biting their fingertips. Until the very last seconds of the extra time, in the 119th minute, a good move down our right allowed our right wing back to put in a cross to our strikers head and he placed the ball into the opposite corner of the goal as the goalkeeper was trying to get across.
    The bench erupted, I tried to get to the players but got blocked of by other staff, we had scored, Oh, wow! Jumping up and down, the whole one side of the stadium were dancing and singing, it was so loud, it is an incredible feeling and experience being there in front of all our support, oh yeah, my ears are still ringing!
    We had won and all the players and staff were congratulating each other and it is unbelievable celebrating at the home of footie and the partying never stopped for another thirty six hours!
    At this point, I would like to mention our opponents, who were incredible, not only did they never stop competing, they were very honourable in defeat. Despite the result, they were very friendly and congratulated us warmly.
    Their fans were brilliant and were as loud as ours. 25,000 + for two relatively small clubs was brilliant.
    We celebrated in the changing room, then in the big lounge above, I was cleaning up as usual., then the players and staff celebrated on the coach home. (Dont tell the rozzers!)
    After four hours, t h e mechanic announced that the van was okay to drive home, this was as the game went on.
    So we packed the van and eventually around eight o'clock, we set off home, thanking everyone in sight for such a great day. The drive home was without incident, thankfully because the mechanic had warned us that he to rig up the electrical system, because to be fit for future excursions, the van needed a completely new main electrical wiring loom.
    We arrived at our ground just after midnight, the party was still going on in one of the lounges, whilst the fans had gained access to the car park outside and were still singing.
    The party carried on into the morning, I wisely took myself home.
    The whole staff and players returned the following afternoon to give the fans a chance to greet the players and manager on the pitch and mingle with supporters in the fans zone tent.
    We had a civic reception the following afternoon.
    Phew! I'm tired!
    What a weekend!
    What a result!

    I'm booking the hotel for the end of next season!
    I'm getting a new van, I hope I can persuade my bosses to get me one!

    League One and new grounds and stadia to visit!

    I did say, last time, we are back, watch out!

    League One, look out, the superwhites are back!
  2. The genre of what if novels have always appealed to the amateur historian in me!
    My knowledge of the American civil war and all the the theories that abound from this dreadful war has been overdone especially in the states.
    Have you ever considered a different outcome to certain events in your own life?
    For example, if you decided to go somewhere and then changed your mind. Say you went, and because you did you altered your future history. This could have been a life changing experience!
    But, as things turn out, you wouldn't know anyway!
    You have regrets, just as everyone else, I wish I had done things differently and of course, once done, you can't change history.

    But it's the world changing decisions made by our leaders, that have always interested me, and there is so many to choose from. I once wrote in one of my blogs that if my relative who fought at Waterloo had died in the battle instead of surviving and the allied forces was destroyed by Napoleon's Grand Armee instead.
    The change in European history would have evolved quite differently. France would have become I would have to become an even bigger power bloc and stayed a republic. It did again, but you see what I mean!
    But English power and political policy would have changed, The Duke of Wellington would not have become such a powerful figure in history and subsequent governments would not have been as enthusiastic for a worldwide empire. A lot would have changed up to and beyond Queen Victoria's reign.
    It the same with the twentieth century history and warfare.
    A lot of Hitler's rise and downfall has been overdone in this genre of fictional story telling.
    But it goes back to when he was a corporal in the trenches, or even before that and his early life that moulded his life. His decisions as a dictator caused so much destruction and of course everything that happened because of those decisions. It is fascinating that these decisions by one man alone sealed historic events since.

    But there were other decisions made at this time, that also had an influence on history, the timing of America joining the allied forces for example, because of Pearl Harbour. Interesting if the Japanese had decided to secure the eastern theatre of war instead of attacking America! However, there is a consensus of thought that they had a great chance to take the U.S. Navy out of the war, and would have had free reign over south east Asia.
    D.day is another of those decisions, that has intrigued me because, it was always thought that Stalin demanded that the allies opened another front, to take forces away from Russia. A book theorized, it had nothing to do with Stalin, but the power behind the allied governments wanting to get to Germany before the Russians did. And stop Stalin's push for European country and of course the later named Eastern bloc. If the forces used on D Day were sent to push the war through Italy instead, the Russians would not have stopped until they reached the North sea! How that would have changed Europe after the war, or even the cold war would have lead to much worse!
    Why did the Americans and allies fight communism in first Korea, then in Vietnam? When it prevented the spread of communism, but never stopped it. The bay of pigs, is another decision time between the super powers!
    It was a close call!
    And finally, brexit! Whoever was the power brokers behind the Tories decision to have a referendum. What a really bad decision that was!

    Or was it?

    What if in the unlikely event of it being the best decision ever.

    There is always a what if, and the Labour party had won that election?
  3. Besides not having the time or the inclination to continue writing my blog, it has been now seven months since my last one and I will tell you that my life has changed so much since this time last year, and really it is not about my health or my dietary regime.
    My job is my dream job!
    I work in football! Don't get me wrong, it is hard work, not for those who are not willing to put themselves out, to get everything sorted, to get what is needed, where it is needed to be. At the right time. At the right place.
    Football is a team sport, and besides the playing squad, there is those like me, who do all the work behind the team, and the way it is done is so the players have nothing but football on their minds and as little distraction as possible.
    At my age, I should be considering retirement (again) but because the work is demanding, my health is not an issue! (As long as I behave myself with food of course!) So retirement is a long, long away.
    My health as I've said is good, I have now had a step watch as a chrimbo present and an app that records, steps, kilometres, records blood glucose levels, weight, BP, sleep and temperature. I only use the weight and blood glucose readings.
    My average for January for steps per day, is 17000, which is according to the app, approximately 24
    kilometres!! Calories burned, 2600! Which again according to the app is four hours constant activity time!
    As is my necessary control, my blood glucose levels (fasting!) Is within normal range, averaging at 4.9!
    Weight, I have now been around twelve stone for over three years, hovering just above and below. So I've had to convert my weight to kilograms, and my average for the last month is 81.2 kilos! Which I'm quite happy with!

    The father in law is defying all odds and is still being the pain he has always been. I don't worry too much!
    The wife's diabetes is slightly better thanks to a change in meds, but her overall health is suffering because there is more happening in her spine! (I'm afraid of this!) I do worry!
    The rest of the family don't discuss health problems because me and the wife have enough for us to be worrying too much, but that doesn't stop it, does it? I do worry!
    As you read this, you would think that my anxiety over certain things are at the forefront of my brain, that couldn't be further from the truth, if you have had the chronic symptoms of anxiety, which I had during my hypo hell, being a little bit worried about your family is a natural thing, anxiety as I had it, is at least a hundred times worse! You are scared to make any sort of decision, and I would not be able to cope with my job or life as it is, without making hard decisions all the time. In fact, my job has helped so much in this regard.
    I had a busy, quiet, Christmas, with my list of presents filled. I actually had Christmas day off, which is unusual, because of the fixtures over, before and after chrimbo. We played six times in the three weeks over Christmas and New Year period, and if you add the FA cup replays, it was ten games in five weeks. It is not only match days but the preparations for matches and also training.
    I can't believe that it is February already, the season has gone so fast, and my boss, has already asked me to consider my summer vacation and remaining holidays days! It is now only thirteen weeks left unless we make the playoffs!
    I'm 64 soon! And I really feel as if I'm in my thirties! Occasionally, age does catch up and I get the aches and pains from my bones and muscles, mainly in the evening when I'm physically tired and need my beauty sleep! I'm never mentally tired or lethargic, I have energy levels you would not believe, my brain is working full steam ahead, planning my working life, what chores, what shopping, and of course paying the bills!
    What a difference from 2012/13 and my hypo hell before diagnosis!
    Thank you, people on this here forum, thank you my endocrinologist! Thank you whoever arranged for me to get my job!
    I still don't believe my life has been anything but hard and I do appreciate the little things that have helped my life become something that has been a really great achievement from my background and the struggles my life has exposed me to and the experience I have had.
    There is a saying around here that I've heard so many times especially in the people who struggle every day to make ends meet!
    Life's ****, then you die!

    In my life, the good fortune of making my living standards improve, through all the ups and downs, has been remarkable, but I fear, that all my endeavours has been for nought because of politics and this country's obsession for being British!

    Well, that is it for now!
    Best wishes
  4. Well, what a couple of weeks that was!
    If you have read my blog, you know that my life has not been all sunshine and roses. Life has been hard and will continue to be because of how my big family has a history of being taken away by circumstances fate dictates.
    But I have crawled out of child poverty, to have a grammar school education, an education in how being poor in an elitist system is not going to further your prospects. To be so good at certain sports doesn't guarantee you a place, to have street smarts before leaving school and using my personal skills to try and get an apprenticeship. Failing because of my background.
    My determination to support my family, regardless of job opportunities I have never had a day claiming benefits, never, allowing my kids to fail because of who they are. And their background. Indeed my job now is somewhat so rewarding, my dream job. Sometimes life can be a pleasure.
    Enough of me, I have every reason to be proud of my immediate family, though certain older ones are totally irresponsible for their behaviour. I digress!

    During a period that has really astonished me, three out of four, those in school have exceeded expectations from their school reports. The others , two hold good jobs as apprentices, the other two are not at school.
    Indeed, one of my granddaughters had her first holy communion today, she is definitely a chip off the old block.

    So why has my kids and grandkids made so proud and the reason for my joy. Though it was by pure accident it happened.
    One of my son's saved a fifteen year old boys life this week.
    The boy, wanted to commit suicide by jumping onto a motorway, this happened to a young girl at the same place last week. So, as my son was driving by on his way into work, he spotted the lad behaving suspiciously, where these flowers had been placed to commemorate a young lady's demise last week. He stopped and asked if he was okay, the lad told him in no certain manner to go away, my son again enquired to his well being, the lad started walking away, so my son watched him, the boy walked to the end of the bridge and kept looking back.
    My son then decided to go around the motorway roundabout and make sure that the boy was away from danger.
    As he returned to the spot where he spoke to him earlier, the boy had returned. My son phoned the police, he pulled up again and could see that the boy was distressed and crying, my son spoke to him and again swore at!
    The boy started to climb the bridge railing, my son immediately left his vehicle by this time the boy was just about to jump, and without thought of safety grabbed the boy and pulled him back over the railings, my son held the boy down to prevent the boy doing it again. Another car pulled up and phoned the police, then another car stopped and helped my son prevent any more problems.
    The police arrived, placing the boy inside, and drove away.
    My son was sent home from work because he was in a bit of a state.
    The following day, there was a sign, on that same spot, that said, Thank you for saving our son!
    My son has received many messages from the people who witnessed this, the chief constable also phoned him and praised his actions.
    One of my other sons, helped an old woman with her falling and saving her embarrassment till an ambulance arrived.
    My daughter, her job is in social care for children, she has been rewarded because of her work in helping unfortunate children in foster care.

    And to finish off, I'm not name dropping but my nephew was part of the guard of honour at the recent royal wedding. He is serving with the Blues and Royals, He was pictured in his finery on the steps outside alongside the happy couple.

    And finally, as it is now a month since Wembley! And my team winning and my part in it, what a month it's been!

    On a sad note, my brothers are not here to celebrate their birthdays during this time, my eldest would have 74 on June 6th (D Day!) And my next eldest would have been 66, today!

    I have my health. And I'm thankful for that but not as much as my kids and grandkids are dear to me!

    Thank you for reading.
  5. Well that is it!
    I have had a letter confirming that my specialist endocrinologist does not wish to see me in an appointment unless it is an emergency.
    This has been coming for a while now.
    It is because, I have complete control of my condition and in his words,
    Mr ......... attended clinic today, we have actually agreed he does not need to attend my clinic anymore as he is now on a stable dose of Sitagliptin for his Reactive Hypoglycaemia and he is doing very well on his dietary management of this condition.
    I'm a bit sad but glad, I enjoyed his clinic visits, his knowledge and experience, with his personality, had become a worthwhile experience for me.
    He was never resolute in his beliefs regarding treatment especially when it came to complex carbs, my extensive food diary, actually showed the reason why and he admitted that, I was a bit weird to actually not need complex carbs, indeed my blood panel results from last October were so good he questioned my resolve and how I had achieved the good results.
    My general health is so good, he couldn't argue or disagree, the diet for me, was actually working.

    It's been a long time coming to be as healthy as I am.
    I have my life back and I'm not going back to what was actually making me ill. And would probably have me not being here!
    I have my specialist endocrinologist to thank for that, I will be forever in his debt!
    But I have this forum and its knowledgeable people to thank for eating as I do now!
    And of course, my resolve to be a pain for all my family and friends, to be around for a lot longer than seemed possible a decade ago!

    Best wishes!
  6. It has now been two weeks since that eventful day or weekend really!
    Last year, we went and lost there, but we were back, with a different approach and attitude to getting back to were we believe we belong, according to all the talk on the radio, Twitter and Facebook etc. Even the message was continually pressed into all our conversations and meetings.
    This one had to be perfect, there was no mention of celebrating the semi final win and all staff spent every day at the training ground to get the lads ready for the battle ahead.
    Everyone knew their roles and responsibilities, and getting everything prepared and being utterly professional about the job in hand. We were not going to lose gracefully or be awed by our opponents, the stadium, it wasn't going to happen again!
    My role?
    Well I'm on the staff, doing my dream job for my local football club, that is, I prepare the dressing room and see to all the needs and wants of the manager, coaches, physios, players and from outside the dressing room. On such occasions, the media and Wembley staff, as well as officials, mascots, reporters, and senior staff from our club. I act like a go between, the go to person on a match day.
    There is a member of the Wembley staff, like a guard to both dressing rooms, and he is a great help.
    I prepare and pack every piece of equipment and kit, that is needed, and a lot that is not, but always with travelling, always be prepared for every eventuality. For a trip to Wembley, the amount of stuff we have is a lot.
    We use a transit van and this season it has clocked up a lot of mileage especially to the sarf!
    Thursday morning meeting over, we know what to load, who is in squad and equipment necessary, we have a list of lists, including one that has which equipment is needed on the players coach and and what is going in the van. The van is carefully packed due to how and what is needed first and last, we take extra for the hot weather we have been told to expect, but we still pack the large benchcoats, just in case!
    Last year we never had enough sun cream, we didn't miss that this time!
    Friday morning.
    The players coach is packed and enough water for an army, it was really nice and warm, I wasn't looking forward to the motorway madness, which is always discouraging on a Friday afternoon.
    We always leave after the coach departs, because there is always one player who has left his boots or the staff have forgotten something from the training ground. It happens all the time!
    Of course, this time was no exception.
    We started late afternoon, missing the m6, missing the roadworks and joining the motorway past Stoke joining at Stafford, before the m6 toll road!
    We have a break at the services on the toll road.
    We continue down the m42, m40 down to Wembley, we actually take five and half hours to get to our hotel, because we travel all over, and my dietary needs, we always stop at a premier inn. Never had a bad breakfast yet!
    Our evening meal sorted in a beefeater restaurant and early to bed. We have to be on the ball, so to speak, tomorrow!
    Breakfast done, bloody hell, that would last all day, I forgot about eating till about eight o'clock that night, there was more important things to consider.
    We decided to get to the Wembley Park early, and have a look around the outside and around the retail park, already supporters were arriving, and being recognised, photos were taken on our phones, and a desire to get inside and get it right before the players coach arrived.
    We would arrive and we get our passes, be scanned electronically and by a dog handler. We await our turn to enter and our escort around the underground part of the magnificent stadium. There is so much underneath, that you just can't grasp the enormity of it all. The amount of staff is huge.
    We approach the west gate, already waiting was our fitness coach, he would help set up the important table full of supplements, water, pre match gels, and stupid minor stuff, like, Vick, Sun cream, tape, physio bands, tie ups, and all the stretching equipment, hard rollers, soft rollers, mats, glute bands, towels for the mass of physio beds and more. My immediate job was to unpack the playing kit and arrange it so the players were happy with the placement, we don't do numeric. We do keepers near door, then defenders, not putting the skipper in the corner, he has a dominant position in between all the squad. Then strikers, because, they like to think they are important!
    Then midfield and subs.
    Leaving room at the bottom of the cavernous dressing room for the staff to put the tactics board(s). The tactical coach has paper to put on other easels and of course the tape and blue tack, were not forgotten!
    Once I'm happy with my dressing room and every needed bit of kit, is positioned to particular personal players needs, of course the keepers and strikers being unusually superstitious, have all kinds of different warming up kit and undergarments.
    You do unfortunately have to get to know your players!
    The next item is to prepare and have the equipment needed for the dugout and warm up, ball's, bibs, cones, blood kits, doctors bags, subs kits, raincoats, and of course defibrillator, crutches, neck restraints, an ice box, ice bags, and lots of ice! Water, supplements, gels. And more! Including walkie talkies, so the staff can be contacted immediately.
    This done, we do the usual tour of the inner sanctum of the playing area and take the usual photos.
    This is the part I don't like much, everything is ready, the lull before the storm, the anxiety and nervousness abound, we are ready, the time slows agonisingly!
    All of a sudden, the players coach has arrived and I'm out to meet it as things need carrying into the dressing room and if not needed, into the van. I return to the dressing room and if everything is okay, I get the staff tea or coffee and I get myself a well earned rest, and if I'm not disturbed, it means, my part of the preceding part of the match is done.
    I sit at the back of the coaches side room, and relax watch the television.
    The warm up. The goalkeepers emerge an hour before kick off, the coach and three keepers go through their warm up, already the end were our supporters are, are getting vocal and expectant.
    I watch from the dugout.
    The rest of the squad appears, they do the drills, I join them on the pitch, with a slight smile on my face, I'm there to look after the equipment especially the balls. My job is to gather the bibs and cones after the warm up, collect the balls and get back into the dressing room, sometimes I'm the only person on that near goal to our supporters and I always try and see my family, relatives and friends, mostly I don't pick them out.
    The gaffer is going through the final reminders of what is expected of the first eleven and who they are marking at set pieces, tactics adjusted to the opposition line up. Everyone in the changing room is up on their feet, wishing best wishes, hugs, encouraging, grim determination on the faces.
    I wait at the door to the tunnel, as I'm aware of movement outside, the linesman, oops, sorry, my age showing, are about to bang on the door to get the players in the tunnel, to check for jewellery, studs, correct under garments. The knock is sounded, I open the door slightly ajar, we have to be walking out as a team led out by the gaffer, the skipper and of course there is one who has to be last out, the opposition is coming out, we open the door and everyone lines up in the tunnel awaiting the referee to start the precession out.
    I duck back in and do a quick bit of tidying up intentionally missing the national anthem and the couple of minutes before kick off.
    I get settled in the dugout just in the nick of time for the match to begin.
    I look at the subs making sure they have the bibs on and water is available.
    The whistle blows and we are down to ten men within a minute!
    (Oh s!!!!!) It was a red but in the circumstances, a yellow could have been given!
    The lad is distraught and its my job to see to him, so I follow down the tunnel and offer any assistance he needs, I take time to see he is as okay as can be, he tells me to go and watch the game, I leave only to be told by the guard on the dressing room door, that the player can watch from above tunnel, I turn and get the message to him as he showers, I return to the dugout just in time to see a goal.
    Yeah! We scored! Wow!
    The first half continues and going into injury time after already making two subs because of tactics, we get another injury, and a third sub is readied. I have to make sure they wear the right bibs and water them, the injured player has an Achilles tendon injury, he is taken straight to the dressing room. I go with him, we have already played more than the fourth officials board said, in total an extra five minutes were played on top of the six minutes on the board. They scored from the last kick of the half.
    The dressing room is deflated, there is much anger at the officials, there is a momentary lapse in behaviour by some of our staff and theirs, resulting in two coaches spending the rest of the game in the stands, I have to get the coach an unused radio, I'm asked to talk to the officials instead of the gaffer, to get the message to calm everyone down. Get more water and gels. We have iced tea towels in soak to cool everyone because even though it is raining, told you I needed them raincoat and benchcoats, the gaffer wanted a drier jumper, because he didn't wear a coat despite the weather!
    The gaffer is brilliant in bringing the lads back down and extolling the great way we have performed so far, he says that, they have had one shot on target, we have done better, despite the man disadvantage, we are playing better footie and the need for the lads to do their jobs, they all know and trust each other to do that. We just need to keep our shape, deny them opportunities, and try our best to get another chance ourselves from either a break or a set piece. It was inspiring and much needed at that time!
    The bell goes for the second half and the lads troop out with a determination and a resolve to see this through.
    I do a bit more tidying up, then take my place in the dugout.
    The second half is not the best but in the circumstances, who could blame us, we thwarted everything the opposition could throw at us. And then with barely ten minutes to go, the whole superwhite army exploded as our striker headed the ball past their keeper into the corner of the net.
    My excitement nearly did some serious damage, my feet got caught in the seats, my back bounced off the seats.
    Against all odds, we were on track to win at the home of football and achieve promotion.
    Alas, it was still ten minutes plus injury time, the supporters who had not shut up since before the kick off, got louder and the noise was unbelievable. They were the extra piece of the jigsaw, the much needed kick the players needed to respond to. We got back into survival mode and resisted all attempts at breaching our defence.
    Those last fifteen minutes were agony, there was desperation, aggressive defending, every man did their utmost to keep that lead, they were brilliant, the supporters sang louder, the realisation of victory was just a whistle away. Then just as I had no more nails to bite, it went, and pandemonium broke out!
    The gaffer started running towards the supporters followed by all the subs, the coaching staff and even myself got caught up in the euphoria.
    The celebrations went on and on, the usual celebrations around Wembley playoffs and then the dressing room and champagne and beer flowed, (not me of course) lots of dancing and singing, more hugs, more high fives and then about an hour after the dancing and singing, I was left alone to sort out everything, I got my driver to help and we had to ensure every bit of kit and equipment got to the van and packed.
    We left about 7.30pm.
    We stopped at the first services on the motorway because we hadn't eaten since breakfast, I wasn't that hungry, honest, as usuaI drank tea and water all day, no food!
    A completely different experience than the year before, the drive there and back, the hotel, the breakfast, the company, the perfect way to finish the season. And of course the result!

    We are back, watch out you league clubs, we are better, stronger and will be more than a challenge on the day we encounter you! C'mon you superwhites!
  7. Merry Christmas and whilst I prosper with my own health, it is a pity that I have to witness the absolute absurdity of celebrating chrimbo with the rest of my lot.
    The better half, type two and back problems having too many treats.
    Her brother a confirmed alcoholic, with a pint glass in his hands and a reefer not too far away, another few months in the rehabilitation centre, but as the wife would say, it's Christmas!
    My son's and daughter drinking to access and eating too much, spending too much money and time on prezzies.
    Partying to all hours and being far too generous.
    The grandkids swamped with too many toys, too much tech and too much money, my fault for a change!
    Lots of love and good will all round!

    The father in law, (the coffin dodger!) He has already gone through a few bottles of wine as per usual, dressed in his Santa jumper. Toddling around with his walking stick, shopping for non essential items of food and we will definitely need that for Christmas day and still have the same stuff in the cupboards from last, two, three Christmases past! Bought Christmas pudding but no one likes it except for me and I can't!
    Everyone buys him spirits at this time despite knowing of his chronic alcoholism and he has gone through so much, that he has his Christmas and New year's holiday in hospital, he has not failed for the past four years because he keeps getting pneumonia! He never learns, he keeps going out in the wet and cold, to get his evening tipple!
    He's deaf as well, as he will completely ignore you if you are trying to talk sense. He shouts because he won't wear his hearing aid, he whistles when he speaks because his teeth (falsies) don't fit!
    His eating and every other habit is disgusting, designed to upset you. He won't throw food away, he stores food that is way out of date and one of us has to clean out the cupboards every now and again. He is disgusting!
    He is a very selfish person, which is synonymous with alcoholics.
    He would and should be amongst the rest of his age in our family but he won't go!
    He has been resuscitated many times, more lives than a cat, even though he has DNR on his medical notes and still they got him back!
    I sometimes wonder if he's still here just to irritate us!
    I wouldn't put it past him!

    Everything is nearly ready for the big day!
    I've got my roasted gammon for the evening, the turkey is awaiting the oven, all the vegetables are prepared. The tree is swamped ten feet tall with prezzies!
    The ambulance is booked and looking forward to a quieter Christmas than you would think! (No, it's not!)

    See you soon, if I survive it!

    Bah humbug!

    Merry Christmas everyone!
  8. I think that the biggest thing I've learned is to be always surprised at how a metabolic condition such as I have, will always find something different than everyone else has.
    The numbers of symptoms that are associated with RH and other hypoglycaemic conditions keep growing, no one is the same, no two are typical, only the symptoms are slightly different because of the other problems and conditions that accompany life.
    I think that the reason that I can draw experience and a baseline with my own individual health is because other than my pancreas going OTT when eating carbs is my health is excellent. So nothing else can mask or skew the diagnosis.
    I have normal blood glucose levels. My body likes being in normal blood glucose levels, it doesn't like anything else and it tells me in no uncertain terms that I have come out of ketosis. Even a small raise in levels, I get acute symptoms. My eyes start blurring, headache, sweaty, just don't feel good and of course the shakes!
    My organs are healthy even my pancreas, (except you know what!) No fatty liver, no kidney or liver function problems. My heart is good, my BP is perfect!
    The things I've learned because of the rarity of my condition, because I had to.
    I know how it works, I understand the science, I have read so many papers and reports, watched lots of stuff on medical networking sites, YouTube, and blog pages. This stuff is interesting!
    I am intrigued why and how, this condition is different but so similar to other metabolic conditions.
    I am curious as to how and why the food we eat can impact our health so much.
    I am obsessed to a point in how and why avoidance of certain foods can impact and improve your health so much because it works for me even if the man who literally saved my life, still tells me, I must have a few carbs a day! (I don't!) He has agreed on a ketogenic lifestyle has done wonders for me.
    I am actually an idiot learning nutrition through experience, my food diary goes back to 2009. My readings are now that I understand the science, totally logical and I still cannot believe the GPs that looked at my diary and didn't think or know that having episodes of Hypoglycaemia is T2, when not on meds or having normal glucose levels every morning is unusual! That having spikes in more than double figures is something that only happens when you start at a higher blood glucose level. Hypos after a bowl of porridge isn't atypical of T2!
    I am still learning to post comments making sure that it combines information with hoping that I'm not causing more problems that will help rather than come across like an advocate of being a low carb forum troll.
    There is so much to cover and convince that what is making them ill is normal foods, the staple diet of bread, milk, potatoes, rice and the like.
    Every meal that I have grown up is meat and two veg!
    Breaking bread is a norm, having milk with tea, breakfast and even bedtime drinks is dairy.
    But I'm intolerant to them.
    The eat well plate is designed to bring a healthy nutritious diet to you.
    Well, it didn't to me!
    It was like pouring petrol on a fire!
    My weight ballooned from fourteen stone to nearly eighteen stone in three years.
    And I was not eating a lot!
    My hypo hell!
    I call my diet, the idiot diet. It is simply, intermittent fasting, a small meal diet, eaten infrequently, when I went and not much, sprinkled with healthy food for me, designed by me, (and my glucometer) and how my food interacts with digestion, my gut brain trigger and most Importantly my health and how I feel.
    And I do feel great!

    That about sums it up!
    The thing is, I have come to realise that the battle against ignorance about how metabolic conditions should be treated as an individual personal balance of how food can make you ill. And neither my recommendation or someone else dietary advice will work for more than you. You are different, I'm different! I'm just a bit more weirder than you. Having a rare condition does make you sit up and notice the writing on the wall.
    Knowledge is the most powerful tool that you can use, in helping others.
    Knowledge and experience and recording everything that has happened to you will give you an account, to see how you have travelled down your personal journey, you must learn how to assimilate that information and use it in your daily life, your decision making and your life choices.

    I'm a reactionary, I now teach my healthcare practitioners and discuss my experiences with my endocrinologist, my family, my work colleagues (I bore them) and friends. But of course my experience has helped so many looking for a friend who has done this, who will give answers to why medical advice is not working, won the battle against ignorance, come through my own personal hell.
    And come out smiling!

    Without this forum, I would not have had that knowledge, that I use!

    Thank you, you special people you!

    A Reactionary.
  9. As my last blog depicted our travels in the what is now called the Mystery Machine (sorry Scooby doo fans)
    Our travelling had us on the long and arduous and of course hazardous trip to the car park that is the South London suburban sprawl.
    We set off in good time, allowing plenty of time for motorway heavy traffic and even allowing for the cruise through the M6 nightmare between junctions 16-20! We were surprisingly ahead of schedule.
    But as usual our smugness affected the sat nav!
    It froze just as we were changing motorways from the M6 to the M1, we ended up doing a lovely sightseeing trip around Northampton! (Grrr!)
    We should have doubled back but the bloody thing said it was the shortest route, it wasn't. I took over with my phone sat nav and after an hour of the tourist route, we found ourselves back on the M1.
    A welcome break was required!
    We were hoping after our tour de force that we would reach our hotel some time around five o'clock but as always there is something evil in our Sat nav. Instead of taking us on the M25, it told us to go onto the north circular, south circular route.
    So instead of heavy traffic moving slowing on the motorway, we stopped dead going through the City of London and all the tourist hotspots around the Tower bridge and the Tower of London!
    I hadn't been there since the kids were small! And it was nice to see (NOT!)
    We eventually got to the hotel at seven fifteen! A seven and a half hours journey! (Nightmare!)
    A lovely night in the restaurant and sleep and of course a huge English breakfast followed by copious amounts of tea restored my spirits. (A bit!).
    I actually felt a little off, I had my flu jab, and I usually look forward to my team trying to play footie, but my mono was missing, I just lay on my bed and read till time to go!

    We won! A last minute extra time winner!

    So in good spirits, (not really, feeling ****!) We set off.

    We took the M25 and despite really scrutinizing the way back through the Dartford tunnel we ended on the A2!
    I really got angry and threatened to hurl the bloody thing out of the window.
    Why can't he read the signs on the road instead of that stupid bloody thing!
    It was telling him to stay right and as the junction approached, it told him to go left! (Why?)
    So we had to travel to the next junction using my phone and I turned the sat nav off.
    It took another half an hour to get to the tunnel.

    I hope I never see that sat nav again!

    I have begged my club to replace the useless machine or the driver or both!

    I have also asked to be reimbursed for using my phone, as that cost quite a few Bob going up and down the busy roads to wherever we actually find ourselves.

    Yorkshire next!
  10. I have vivid dreams, I get deja v, I have a weird body!
    But every now and then, I get a moment in time when something that changes my outlook on my life or my attention is drawn to an idea that is momentous in my life. A sort of life changing experience!
    It usually happens when I'm by myself, walking and thinking things through.
    This particular happenstance occurred during my extended fasting test in hospital.
    It occurred during my third day, wether it was my brain pleading for food or my body was adjusting to no new nutrition, whatever, I didn't feel hungry or feel like eating the whole cupboard of its contents. Which I used to do a lot! It was on a walk around the hospital grounds during the tea time meal. It was really enlightening, suddenly the fog and anxious thoughts, the numbness in my head, my eyes became clear and the energy that I hadn't been getting from my hypo hell. My smile returned, I was happy, I now knew that I had a future. I realised that I was going to get health back.
    The long struggle to get someone who understood my problem and get a real diagnosis. To find out after so long that it wasn't just diabetes, that it was a condition that was going to put me in a coffin sooner than I had planned. The uplifting realisation that I knew how to treat the symptoms I was continually beholden to. That the symptoms would ease dramatically or go completely away. I was giddy with joy!

    I knew that a lot of what the experts called healthy foods, were not for me!
    I couldn't drink no more.
    I had to be sensible (I know) realistic about my food choices, get my head around getting my carbs, protein and fat in the right balance for me.
    I had to learn as much as I could and research and plan my way ahead.
    To figure out how to shop, cook, clean, chores, and look after the wife as well as go to work.
    To alter my lifestyle to my weirdness!
    A determination to get complete control and be as healthy as possible.

    The light went on in my head. After being off for so long.
    A feeling of wonder!
    Of happiness!
    Of a thrill for life!
    Of a future that I am in control of!
    My life, my weird life!
    My light bulb moment.

    Long may it last!
  11. If you have followed my blog, you would understand that I do a lot of traveling up and down and across our beautiful island, visiting many parts of the football family and the journeys have become more and more interesting as my club have down the league's to our current status of the national league.
    We have had some fun losing our way around some really remote grounds such as Forest Green, when the sat nav put us somewhere in the remote parts of the Gloucestershire back of beyond countryside fields. Nowhere near the ground and having to go down a really bouncy back bridal path to come into Nailsworth the wrong way!
    Going to places that even the sat nav has trouble with is really fun. Eastleigh near Southampton, put us in a factory car park about a mile away. If you think it's bad, asking a local is funny, especially in and around the M25! You know that the directions are wrong but you just move on praying for a sign.
    The driver has missed junctions and having to travel back along the same stretch of motorway, is not fun especially at fifty miles an hour or even slower. Our sat nav put in Maidstone when we were going to Maidenhead! In second best place in our travels must be to Boreham Wood, when the driver mistakenly thought we went down the M40 instead of the M6/M1, that put an extra hour on our journey time through the Watford suburbs and Hertfordshire!
    Saving the best until now, the funniest and silliest was our fourth trip to Macclesfield or was it fifth?
    Anyway it's motorway to junction 18 (I think) but the junction was closed, so we carried on, nothing to do but get off next junction, Stoke I think, the driver carried on! We eventually came off at Stafford, and somehow managed to get to Macclesfield before one o'clock, good job we left early!
    The reason why was the driver said he didn't see any signs for the diversion! I was baffled, and through my urging that we must buy a new sat nav, fell on deaf ears! Our driver has no sense of direction.
    So many different tales of taking the wrong road, not reading obvious signs.
    He thought that a London club near Heathrow (Bromley) could only be arrived by going across the Dartford toll!
    He phoned our chief executive who put him straight!
    Okay, I have seen some great places and been to really great traditional football league clubs, but nothing is as good as getting home on a Saturday evening, with a nice hot supper (low carb of course) and a hot cuppa!
    But many times, we are later than we thought! Our driver misses the right motorways even when visiting local clubs like Wrexham and Chester, it can't be happening I say as I notice the wrong road! Coming from Torquay, we had to travel through Birmingham because he missed the junction for M6 toll road!
    Finding places, such as North Ferriby, Guisley is fun the first time but second and third times seem to be more adventurous, Dover, Ebbsfleet, Barrow, Gateshead look out here we come.
    Wonder where we go wrong this weekend as we travel the M25 to Bromley (again)!

    Happy travels!
  12. Before my diagnosis and during my hypo hell years, my health was struggling, I believe that if I hadn't got my diagnosis, I would be just a loving memory to my nearest and dearest.
    I had health issues with all my organs and my frequent visits to my GPs, so many, to get answers to my issues, so so many issues, that I was often considered a hypochondriac.
    I had been told by many doctors that I needed to lose weight and exercise, to eat a diet healthy for someone with type two diabetes, a certain amount of carbohydrates that had low GI values, such as porridge for breakfast, baked potato and baked beans for lunch, then protein with vegetables and balanced with low GI carbs such as wholemeal bread for dinner, to not have snacks.
    My doctors also told me that using my glucometer was only necessary if I knew my blood glucose levels were too high. Well as you can guess what happened.
    I ramble on, it was thinking back, a recipe for disaster.
    So along with my normal moans about how I was always tired and that there something going on aside from my diabetes. I had terrible problems eating, my stomach was in turmoil, I was continually burping and heartburn, with acid problems and of course, the other end, diahorea and piles! Flatulence was my constant companion!

    My doctor suggested an endoscope.
    Why not I said!

    So off to the hospital for what turned out to be a bit of an adventure.
    You have to fast for these things, so I did!
    I was trollied in, the high tech equipment was something synonymous with sci fi. The technician asked if I needed a general anaesthetic or not. I elected for not.
    I asked if I could watch on the big screen, I'm not squeamish, I like this sort of entertainment.
    It was arranged and I was given the anti gagging meds and relaxed as much as I could.
    It was a disaster.
    The procedure had to be stopped because the camera got smeared with food residue on the way down. It was all for nought. I was upset, he blamed me for eating and wasting hospital and his time. He was rude and antagonistic towards me, as I lay there doped up and unable to respond to his tantrum.
    Back home to an interrogator that the Gestapo threw out, the wife tutted and accused me of being a complete buffoon and teasing me about my considerable amount of **** ups and disastrous consequences.

    Two weeks later, I was back at the same hospital, same room, different technician and nurse, same anaesthetic and a longer fasting period, the wife threatened to withhold food for a month if I didn't get this right!
    It wasn't my fault!
    Was it?
    Hooray, a successful procedure!
    The insides of me are much more interesting than the outside.
    This time the voyage around my stomach was enlightening, the technician gave me a blow by blow commentary on my digestion system. He took samples and found some interesting things. Well that was the idea of the procedure!
    Hiatus hernia confirmed and a few ulcers, though non infectious. All were subject to biopsies. Didn't feel a thing!

    The diagnosis letter arrived a few days later.
    Heliocobacter Pylori confirmed. And an invitation to visit my GPs again for a prescription for an antibiotic.

    Ok, so here is the lowdown.
    Two Australian doctors were convinced that the cause of many ulcers were bacteria such as the heliocobacter pylori. It is not good bacteria! And as a bacteria is should be susceptible to antibiotics.
    But no one in the scientific community believed them.
    So one of them caused to have himself the bacteria inserted into his stomach and then took the treatment.
    It was successful and subsequent trials were also successfully obtained.
    They got themselves a Nobel prize. And a lot more funding.

    My prognosis was successful as well, the course, there was two and other meds to change my biotic balance, cured my heliocobacter pylori, I love saying it!
    My hiatus hernia repair was successful. This was done by not having carbs after diagnosis.
    And after diagnosis, I wasn't type two! My organs became healthier and my weight diminished. My piles gone and no loosening of the bowels!
    And the diet and the poisonous foods recommended by my GPs and dieticians were truly dumped for a really healthy diet for me!
  13. I started a thread about my best, worst, experience and the first that you remember when you were a kid!
    My first memory of a nice holiday that I can remember was going to a holiday camp in Morecambe in 1966.
    Of course being a total football nut, 1966 was synonymous with the huge win in 1966 in the World Cup.

    Anyway, I had already been to watch the infamous match between North Korea and Portugal at Goodison Park, a couple of weeks beforehand.

    To put a holiday in context in that year, my father had actually found a job which payed relatively good, my mother worked full time, so the treats that were denied our family for years, such as a holiday were truly remarkable. We only usually visited relations who were glad to see the back of us and vice versa when they visited us.

    The holiday was booked by quite a few families in our street, in fact, if memory serves me well, there were a couple of families from nearby streets as well. The organisation was done by our next door neighbours, a double decker bus was booked, a version were you alighted from the back of the bus and the sort that needed a clippie (bus conductor you heathen!) A big yellow one from our council bus service as was then, and not a charabanc!

    We had to get up early because, of the fathers who convinced the women that if we get there early enough, we could lunch on arrival at the camps picnic ground.
    They didn't believe that, not for a second!
    It was the morning of the World cup final!

    We set off, and through the Mersey tunnel, through the city of Liverpool, through Lancashire, through Preston, there was no M6! And onwards to the destination of Morecambe Bay holiday camp in Heysham,.
    It is now known for its ferry terminal, back then, just a small town near Morecambe.

    We arrived around one o'clock and the parents disappeared to book in, whilst I sneaked off to do some nosing around. I had never been to a place such as this, it was a true adventure playground for families.
    These old style holiday camps were a rescue from the humdrum of city life, a getaway from poverty and deprivation and for the likes of me, something so special that I will remember it all my days.

    We did have lunch, we called it dinner, but I won't confuse those that believes I'm wrong. And the women unpacked while the men found the pub! The kids explored the amusement arcade, I didn't, my money was going on treats! The men left the pub about half past two and found the television rooms.
    Yes, two television rooms, one for BBC and the other for ITV. These televisions were a cupboard with a black and white screen no bigger than 10 inch screens, and a speaker installed below, in those days, you had to be comfortably off to afford a television!
    We didn't have one till '68. So all the men were stuck in one of the rooms, seated in straight back wooden chairs, with us sat on the floor in front of the television, as close as you could get.
    There was plenty of excitement before, more during the match, and utter chaos when Martin Peters scored the last goal to win in extra time. There was dancing, whooping and singing, mostly without alcohol!
    There was a celebration dance in the ballroom that night and I discovered strawberry milk shakes, for my supper! (Never heard of them before then!)
    That was not the only thing I discovered that I could get, never had known before, especially food!
    Food and sweets that most people and myself now that are taken for granted, like pineapple and other exotic fruit and vegetables!

    You would think that the England win would be the highlight of the holiday, actually watching live football on a television.
    Well, no!
    The holiday camp had a match against the local cricket team which was just a hundred yards from the main building, which was an old manor house. We stayed in wooden huts, with two beds, I shared with my brother, a wash basin and a toilet, very basic! But you only slept there! What else did you need?
    Anyway, I played in the game and I scored 35 not out, I was only eleven, playing against men!
    One of my proudest moments with my dad really impressed!
    It was a nothing game which I excelled in!

    Grammar school ruined my game and my confidence in the game, I never got my chance because of my poor background in a snobs school.
    I played local cricket but nothing of noteworthy, I had talent but the toffs couldn't let me show them how to play could they?

    I digress!
    We took part in competition all week, the saints v the sinners, I was a saint! (I know!)
    Can't remember who won but it was so competitive and the health and safety guys would be taken aback at some of the antics. Especially on the bowling green!
    I believe it never rained all week, if it did I never noticed!
    I had a great time.
    I took part in an entertainment show, and I was bloody awful, well, that's what my mum said! I couldn't argue with her!
    And I discovered strawberry milk shakes and hot chocolate and Bourneville fruit and nut!
    The big yellow bus arrived on the Saturday morning and we trundled down back home!
    Before we left, all the parents were laughing and joking. By the time we emerged from the Mersey tunnel, the grins turned to scowls.
    My new life in Grammar school, was about to change my outlook on life, and how others treated me, coming from a poor background.

    I still have a photograph of me, wearing a blue jumper, which was knitted by my mum, and you can distinctly see the difference in one of the sleeves, because my mum ran out of wool and couldn't afford another of the same shade, so she used as close as she had!
    It reminds me of a really good holiday but underlines the reality of poverty that I endured for most of my childhood.

    Happy days!
  14. During my hypo hell period, and I had to do the shopping for myself and the wife.
    One day I was found totally confused in the aisle of my local small supermarket and had an episode of being totally unaware of what I was doing there, totally disoriented and my mind was blank!
    To this day, I have no recollection of that trip. Found myself at home as I became aware again.
    I found out that the shop assistant had helped me and made sure I got back home.
    This shop assistant recently died.

    I thanked her then, I thanked her every time I saw her.

    RIP, Carole.
  15. Just to let everyone that took an interest in how I'm getting on.
    Well, I haven't changed an awful lot to what my last blog said.
    It is working, I'm not worried about food, or when I should eat.
    I'm just plodding along, and really comfortable with my diet.
    Intermittent fasting and eating very, very low carb is very good for my health.
    I just can't get below twelve stone!
    I've tweaked, exercising even more, (walking and working) and nothing will work.
    I think my body has said enoughs enough and we are happy here!
    We shall see!

    Happy days!
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